Seth Ginsberg, President and Co-Founder of Global Healthy Living Foundation
The Global Healthy Living Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine, diabetes, psoriasis, cardiovascular disease and chronic pain, by advocating for improved access to care at the community, state, and federal levels, and amplifying education and awareness efforts within its social media framework. GHLF is also a staunch advocate for vaccines. The Global Healthy Living Foundation is the parent organization of CreakyJoints, the go-to source for more than 100,000 arthritis patients and their families world-wide who are seeking education, support, advocacy and patient-centered research and ArthritisPower, the first ever patient-led, patient-centered research registry for arthritis, bone, and inflammatory skin conditions.
Survey Finds Insurance Companies Are Forcing Floridians off Prescribed Medications During the Plan Year, Providing a Need for New Legislation to Fix the Problem
Doctors, PA and NPs are the only ones who write prescriptions, right? Well, according to a new survey of Florida chronic disease patients, insurance companies are often the ones deciding what medicines patients can and cannot have, often for non-medical reasons.
The survey found that:
· 68% of Floridians with chronic illness have had their insurer make changes to their health plan’s formulary that reduced coverage of their prescribed medication
· 74% were unable to afford the increase in out-of-pocket prices and were forced to switch to an entirely different medication.
· 61% of respondents had to try multiple medications before finding another medication that worked for them and 58% reported that their new medication, after being switched, was less effective.
· 84% reported a general “negative physical impact” after being non-medically switched, and many missed work or required hospitalization
WHY REPORT THIS NEWS?
· Consumer fairness – Patients sign a contract for health insurance once a year, but the insurance companies can alter their formularies and the terms at any time of year. Hence, patients are at risk for not getting what they paid for.
· Patient harm – As a result of being switched from their original, clinician-prescribed medication, patients may experience additional side effects, symptoms, disease progression, and even relapse.
· Higher healthcare costs — The negative effects of non-medical switching can result in additional medical appointments, emergency room visits and even hospitalization, thereby actually increasing overall healthcare utilization costs.
· HB 95/SB 182 have been filed in Florida to restrict the activity by
commercial health insurers. Related legislation was proposed in eight states in 2016.
The survey was conducted by Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) on behalf of the members of the Floridian for Reliable Health Coverage coalition, a group of 35 provider and patient organizations.